When the police are in hot pursuit and every moment as a free man may be your last, you realize how beautiful this existence is. This is not the start to some brilliant piece of crime fiction, no, no. This revelation came to me last week, when I discovered the outstanding warrant for my arrest.
My lawless deed transpired on a pristine Saturday afternoon in September. Returning from a Chinatown feast, my French friend and I decided to traverse the Williamsburg Bridge in order to walk off the six pounds of dumplings. As the journey over the steel passageway would be long and arduous, I purchased us two twenty-four ounce Coronas, hiding them from the eyes of the law in a thick layer of plastic bags. If TV, movies, and homeless men have taught me anything, it’s that a concealed container of alcohol drunk in public equals legality.
As it turns out, this is not the case.
A cop pulled me over, on the bridge, in a golf cart from the not-too-distant future. Somehow, his eyes penetrated the bag and, before long, I was presented with a pink “The State of New York Versus Dan Foley” ticket (although he did allow me to finish the beer first).
Eight months of relatively clean living later, I rediscovered the pink ticket hiding in my wallet. I called the court, asking how I could pay this overdue fine. They told me I was a wanted criminal; so much as a speeding ticket would result in my ass getting cuffed and tossed in the slammer. After a bit of research, it turns out I was not alone. One million New Yorkers are in a similar predicament.
The next day, I spent the morning in court, alongside a slew of ink-painted youths, ancient vagabonds, a few punk derelicts, and one white guy who looked like he was going to poop himself. Twenty-five dollars and a guilty plea later, Dan Foley was a free man. It never tasted so good.
Sandwich 53: International Wings Factory
After eating my weight in sandwiches in 2014, I discovered two truths about sandwich composition perfection:
1.) Most people don’t know how to make a proper sammie
2.) Those who do understand have a special understanding of balance
International Wings Factory is an Upper-East Side hole-in-the-wall neighborhood institution with the tagline: “Let the world of guilty indulgence await you.” Helmed by Deepak Ballaney, a chef well-versed in the intricacies of international cuisine, a wealth of flavors await experiencing at the humble shop. Today, I present two of them.
The first: Buffalo Chicken B.C.T. This fat, but lightly breaded, buffalo cutlet earns points for distinction for its secret dusting of Indian spices (curry? turmeric? one of those ones I can't pronounce?) and sheer messiness; it will almost certainly hang off both sides of the bun. Topped with a healthy layer of bacon, cucumber ranch, and tomato, it is simple, delicious, and the paragon of balance. There is nothing extraneous, nothing gimmicky, just an equilibrium of fresh, tangy, meaty, spicy, crispy, salty, and savory. And really, what more do you want? (Make sure to order it soul-purifier spicy, trust me).
As the name suggests, they serve up a gambit of wings from around the world. My second recommendation is, in fact, a wing: their Curry Vindaloo flavor. Vindaloo is a type of Indian curry, native to the Goa region. Following colonization, Vindaloo was essentially an attempt at cooking a Portuguese-style dish utilizing Indian spices. This, however, was the first time I had ever seen it transitioned to a buffalo-style wing, the results are staggering, and worthy of the trip alone.
Also, they feature a panko crusted brownie covered in a mixed berry compote/chutney, just saying.